Ask a driver how tall his truck is. The answer it seems is “short enough to go under all the overpasses and through the tunnels.” So, “how do you know if the clearance is too low?” “The truck stops.”
The other half of this equation of weights and dimensions is that many of us truck drivers are not sure of the mass of freight we are allowed to carry down the road. Some of the reason why we may not be sure about weight, is that we need to find out some of the specifications of the truck we are driving, and then do a little math. I just want to drive, thank you!
We should all know how high, wide, and long our vehicles are so we know when we require a permit. Permits for Dimension are VERY cheap typically. Sometimes as little as $100 for the whole fleet of trucks for the year. Tickets for infractions can cost twice that for one event; plus the cost of a single trip permit.
Let’s take a stab at dimension. Height is fairly standard at 13′ 6 ‘ (4.15m) across North America. that is usually the height of a loaded van. Maximum width of a unit is also very standard across North America at 8’6″ (2.6 m). Length in Canada has three versions, Straight Truck 41 ‘ (12.5 m), truck (or tractor) and trailer is 23 m (75 1/2′) and A,B,or C trains maximum length is 26 m (85 ft)
Weight is not so simple, in Alberta, first check the capacity of your tires, then the GVWR of the vehicle and its axles. For smaller vehicles, this province may let you register your lighter duty vehicle to the capacity of the rubber. When you go to BC and SK you will be restricted to the Manufactured Capacity (GVWR). So pay attention.
For the larger vehicles, regulation limits more or less go like this. Steer axle on a tractor just went up to 6000 kg. Steer axle on a truck 7300. Tandem axle group 17,000, Tridem on the trailer 24,000 kg if the spread is over 10 feet. Under ten feet is 21,000 kg.
Tridrive on a truck or tractor usually is allowed 23,000kg on a permit. just remember when you go offroad with the tri’s, you need a TAC permit and county permission to go full weight.
Two good ways to make sure you understand the capacity of your vehicle and what value to register:
A. visit a scale ahead of time and work it out with them to calculate Licensed Mass and Tare weight. Phone ahead.
B. Access the Alberta gov website at http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/4777.htm
Add up your axle groups; this usually results in your licensed maximum. Unless you have short spacings between you axle group. so just call the experts and get it right before you get the overweight citation!!
Any heavier, or wider, or taller, or longer, you need a permit!! Happy Haulin’